Beijing keeps a close watch on Rahul's move | world | Hindustan Times
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Beijing keeps a close watch on Rahul's move

world Updated: Jan 20, 2013 23:27 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis

China is keeping a close watch on developments in Indian politics as Congress appointed Rahul Gandhi as the vice-president of the party over the weekend.

An analysis published in the state-run Xinhua on Sunday evening said Rahul's elevation in the party's hierarchy means that he is likely to be projected as the party's Prime Ministerial candidate in the general election in 2014.

And that he is being prepared to take on BJP leader Narendra Modi, the party's potential candidate for Prime Minister.

The article said Rahul's elevation has a three-fold objective: to boost the ruling United Progressive Alliance's morale and to galvanise party workers.

"And, the third and the most important objective behind Gandhi's promotion as party vice-president is to project him as an youth leader who is ready to take on the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)'s potential prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi who recently won a third term in office as the chief minister of Gujarat, one of the most developed states in western India," Xinhua said.

It added that though clean himself, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had failed to defend the government against allegations of corruption.

"Indeed the soft-spoken Manmohan Singh has not been able to defend his government adequately after the scams were exposed one by one. Though an honest leader himself, critics believe that he has failed to deliver when it came to tackling corruption, of course, inflation also," the opinion piece said.

But the piece also raised questions about the young leader's ability to win.

"But experts agree that Gandhi's charisma may not work in the upcoming general elections, given the fact that his magic failed to help the Congress win in the assembly elections in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh which sends the maximum number of members to the Indian Parliament. Congress even lost some of the seats in Uttar Pradesh assembly which they had won earlier," the piece said, quoting Indian experts.

But the situation within the BJP wasn't very good either, Xinhua said.

"Though Gandhi's magic may not work in the upcoming general elections, but an internal power struggle between the BJP and its ideological mentor organisation, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, could bleak Modi's chances of getting projected as the opposition party's prime ministerial candidate before the polls."